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Go The F*ck To Sleep

Adam Mansbach

Somewhat surprisingly, novelist Adam Mansbach's ultra-popular faux-children's book Go the F*ck to Sleep debuted at the top of the New York Times best-seller list. The frustrated father's expletive-laced tale of trying to get a little one to go to sleep has been greeted with glee from many parents, which has some commentators scratching their heads, and others pointing fingers. Is this profane bedtime story's popularity an indictment of today's parents? Here, four possible lessons derived from its wild success:

1. Parents need reassurance on their bedtime failures
Today's parents secretly think they're frauds, says Tom Scocca at New York. And this book lets moms and dads know they're not alone. While in most bedtime books, the parent prevails with "calm, loving unshakeable command," real-life new parents are confused and humiliated by advice from "baby whisperers" who've made bedtime an industry, says Bonnie Rochman at TIME. Mansbach's book stands out because it's an "expression of solidarity." He reassures us that no real parent enjoys the pop-culture ideal of "lights-out as a loving moment marked by cuddles and hugs."

2. And they're self-pitying yuppies
This "odd, rageful, beautiful little book" is funny only if the reader has "an over-the-top, pent-up fury toward one's children," says Katie Roiphe at Slate. But of course, these parents are not really mad at their kids; they're bemoaning the "Sartre-like bleakness and claustrophobia" they've made of their own lives. The book's father is so angry because, like many liberal parents, he is drowning in "a certain kind of kid-centered drabness." He wants his daughter to sleep so he can, what? Watch TV somewhere in the proximity of his wife. "Are they having sex, these slouchy rageful parents? Not enough, perhaps."

3. Parenting is just really, really hard
After struggling to get your sweet, loving child to sleep, the last thing you want is anything demanding, including sex, says Kim Voynar at Movie City News. That's why Go the F*uck to Sleep "is striking a chord with so many parents": It acknowledges how unbearably hard, draining, and guilt-wracking modern parenting is. If any parent claims she never wanted her kid "to Go. The F*ck. To Sleep," I'll tell you now, she's "lying through [her] f*cking teeth."

4. The book's success reveals a certain sexism
I loved this book, but sadly, I couldn't have gotten away with writing it, says Amy Sohn at Babble. Imagine the outrage if a woman had written the book: "A mom who even thinks, 'Go the f*ck to sleep' is seen as morally lacking," while "a dad who thinks it is someone we want to have a beer with." The worst part is that much of this double-standard is being reinforced by "the very same moms buying GTFTS by the truckload."

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And the article was extensively debated on Fark

FTFA: This "odd, rageful, beautiful little book" is funny only if the reader has "an over-the-top, pent-up fury toward one's children," says Katie Roiphe at Slate. But of course, these parents are not really mad at their kids; they're bemoaning the "Sartre-like bleakness and claustrophobia" they've made of their own lives.

Wow. I wonder if this woman has children. I don't know a single parent who has never been frustrated with their child when they wouldn't go to sleep. I HATE the "logic" she uses that if you find this funny, clearly you have rage issues towards your children. Such total and utter bullshiat.

And "Sartre-like bleakness?" Who even talks like that?

#5: A lot of parents regret having children.

I think it means that the era of child worship may be coming to a close, which would certainly make life a lot more pleasant for everybody involved.

No, we've permanently introduced the soccer mom and helicopter parent into society. And they're the ones that make things shiatty for everyone. Even if 95% of the population wises up, those other 5% will still be around to tell you what you should watch, listen to, read, do, and think, "FOR THE CHILDREN".

5. Children are a gargantuan pain in the ass.

Yeah, but if parents told the truth, no one would ever have kids on purpose ever again.

So, the people who are miserable with kids have to lie and tell you how great and fulfilling it is so you will buy into that shiat and wind up as miserable as they are.

Kids are so 1980s. Who even has those anymore?

my father loved telling a story of one night when we lived in brooklyn, he heard the guy next door trying to get his son to sleep. he heard him say in a sweet singsong voice, "lay keppe, peter" (lay keppe is yiddish for lay your head down) over and over. it went something like this:

lay keppe, peter...lay keppe, peter....peter, lay keppe... lay keppe...peter, lay keppe...PETER PUT YOUR F*CKING HEAD DOWN AND GO TO SLEEP OR I SWEAR TO GOD PETER LAY THE F*CK DOWN...........lay keppe, peter.

I find that if you're baby mama drinks a glass of whiskey before feeding the kid, both will be fast asleep shortly after, leaving you to enjoy the evening in peace.

It goes to sleep or it gets the hose again.

I guess toddlers are quite a handful at bedtime. My niece once decided to go into an all out rage. I turned off all the lights in the house except the living room light (she was scared of the dark), grabbed her pillow and blankie, put on my favorite musical (Sound of Music), and cranked it up over her crying. By the time Maria was off to meet the Captain and his kids, she was lying on the floor staring sleepily at the tv. I ask if she was ready for bed and she said "yes" and that was that.

So much this. So very much this. I love that kiddo with every fiber of my being, but it's exhausting making sure that your little human is safe, well-fed, clean, & happy. PLUS if they don't get enough sleep at night, they're just total beasts to deal with the next day. It's late and I don't have the energy for a battle of wills. Go the f*ck to sleep, already.

Parenting is awesome when it's awesome. It's not always awesome. Some days you think will never end or worse will repeat like Bill Murray. Some days you want to just lock them in their rooms and go about your day like they weren't there. You think things that you'd never do, but you still think them, and nobody tells you that it's okay to have bad thoughts about your kids. That's why this book is a hit. We're not Superdad in a DC comic book. We're people with jobs and stresses and hobbies and kids and spouses and

Hey, they invented this thing called "spanking". It works great.

Marriage is wonderful, and awful. So too with children. Every time you make someone else a significant part of your life there are trade-offs. Why do people have such a hard time accepting this about life? You get stuff you never would have otherwise with marriage and kids. Sometimes it's amazing, sometimes it's like a neat little perk, sometimes it's wrenchingly kafkaesque, sometimes it sucks. There are no guarantees, just whatever life throws at you. I will say it's better to go into parenthood/spousedom with a certain level of maturity, but it's not required, as being a spouse or parent will pull maturity out of you.

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